Marine Climate Change – UK Impacts

The new published annual report card of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) shows that marine climate change is having a significant impact on the UK’s marine environment. According to the report, 2006 was the second warmest year for UK coastal waters since records began, with seven of the warmest years occurring in the last decade.

Recent warmer conditions have led to a shift in the abundance and geographical distribution in plankton. In turn this has led to reduced prey availability for some seabirds, linked to poor breeding success and reduced survival rates.

Models predict that coastal erosion and flooding will increase, with an increase too in the number of severe storms. This will have a severe impact on the goods and services which the seas can provide, with fishing and farming severely compromised by temperature change and alterations in plankton availability and ports, shipping and built structures all at risk.