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.

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. 

Climate change also presents risks to human health and wellbeing, such as physical impacts through flooding and disease and wider sociocultural effects such as the loss of heritage sites and changes in tourism and recreation. 

Climate change impacts on industry and society and their responses to these drivers is modulated by wider external factors such as government policies, economic fluctuations, demographic changes and societal values.
 

Wider impact hubs can be accessed via:

Societal Impact
Climate change impacts, coupled with historical overexploitation, has led to declines in fish stocks of some commercial species, including cod, herring, whiting and sprat. Ocean acidification may result in declines in shellfish.
Societal Impact
There have been no major changes or geographical shifts in species farmed in the UK, but climate change may increase problems with invasive species, fish gill diseases, viruses and Vibrio contamination.
Societal Impact
Climate change could affect the distribution of harmful algae, increase the risk of human infection from Vibrio species and lead to increased Norovirus loading of bathing and shellfish waters.
Societal Impact
Without appropriate action, projected increases in extreme sea levels will lead to a greater coastal flood risk. By the 2080s, annual damages from coastal flooding could more than double under high estimates of sea-level rise.
Societal Impact
The combined threat of flooding from sea-level rise and storms puts transport and infrastructure at risk. This will be most acute where events affect large sections of the coast, are clustered in time, or include both coastal and riverine sources.
Societal Impact
Climate change presents both risks and opportunities for coastal tourism and recreation (e.g. risks from flooding and coastal erosion, as well as opportunities for increasing visitor numbers with a warmer, extended summer season).
Societal Impact
Historic assets located in the coastal zone will be subjected to enhanced rates of erosion, increased flooding and changes in weathering patterns as a direct result of climate change. Submerged sites will be adversely affected by changes in ocean pH, temperature and circulation patterns.