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Monday, January 9th, 2012 . 11:00 am | No Comments

Climate Change Impacts on European Seas: the CLAMER Project

The CLAMER (Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystem Research) Project’s purpose was to bridge the gap between research, policy, and public knowledge regarding the impact of climate change on European oceans.  Public perception of the issue and its socio-economic implications were assessed and addressed.  The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) coordinated the project which ran from April 2010 to October 2011.  One outcome of the CLAMER Project was a journal paper with DR. KATJA PHILIPPART, ROYAL NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR SEA RESEARCH, as first author.  Other co-authors came from Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, the UK, Turkey, and Ireland.Dr. Katja Philippart
Dr. Katja Philippart at the CLAMER conference “Marine climate change in Europe”,
© Vivian Hertz Photography

The authors noted that global warming is having a disproportionate impact on European seas.  Climate change, together with overfishing, ocean acidification, invasive species, and run-off causing dead zones, will make marine ecosystems more vulnerable.   The North Atlantic takes up more than its share of human-generated CO2 based on its size, but the rate of uptake appears to be slowing.  The Arctic Ocean was estimated to be ice-free in the summer by 2100, but now it looks like this could occur at least 50 years earlier, by 2050.  With climate change, there will be more exchange in species between the Atlantic and Pacific across the North Pole.  There has been a northward shift in many marine organisms, and fish have moved to deeper waters.  The Mediterranean Sea, being enclosed, will show the effects of climate change sooner than open systems.  General trends include:  higher ocean temperatures particularly in northern systems, a shift in species composition to more northern species, more freshwater species in the Baltic Sea due to more rain and run-off, and more introduced (less endemic) species.  The authors recommend better ways to quantify uncertainty in climate change predictions and better translation between science and policy regarding risk assessment.

Read more about the CLAMER Project

The paper “Impacts of climate change on European marine ecosystems: Observations, expectations and indicators”

Contact Dr. Katja Philippart, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research:  katja.philippart@nioz.nl

Blog author: Lindy Weilgart , Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea

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