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Warming world, changing ocean: mitigation and adaptation to support resilient marine systems
  • +16
  • Rowan Trebilco,
  • Aysha Fleming,
  • Alistair J Hobday,
  • Jess Melbourne-Thomas,
  • Amelie Meyer,
  • Jan Mcdonald,
  • Phillipa C Mccormack,
  • Kelli Anderson,
  • Narissa Bax,
  • Andrew J Constable,
  • Stuart P Corney,
  • Leo X C Dutra,
  • Hannah E Fogarty,
  • Jeffrey Mcgee,
  • Kaisu Mustonen,
  • Tero Mustonen,
  • Kimberley J Norris,
  • Emily Ogier,
  • Gretta T Pecl
Rowan Trebilco
Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Author Profile
Aysha Fleming
CSIRO Land & Water, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Alistair J Hobday
Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere
Jess Melbourne-Thomas
Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere
Amelie Meyer
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Jan Mcdonald
Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Phillipa C Mccormack
Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Kelli Anderson
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Narissa Bax
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Andrew J Constable
Australian Antarctic Division, Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Stuart P Corney
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Leo X C Dutra
Blue Economy CRC-Co Ltd, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Hannah E Fogarty
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Jeffrey Mcgee
Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Kaisu Mustonen
Snowchange Cooperative
Tero Mustonen
Snowchange Cooperative
Kimberley J Norris
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Tasmania
Emily Ogier
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Gretta T Pecl
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania

Abstract

Proactive and coordinated action to mitigate and adapt to climate change will be essential for achieving the healthy, resilient, safe, sustainably harvested and biodiverse ocean that the UN Decade of Ocean Science and sustainable development goals (SDGs) seek. Ocean-based mitigation actions could contribute 12% of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to keep warming to less than 1.5ºC but, because substantial warming is already locked in, extensive adaptation action is also needed. Here, as part of the Future Seas project, we use a “foresighting/hindcasting” technique to describe two scenarios for 2030 in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation for ocean systems. The “business-as-usual” future is expected if current trends continue, while an alternative future could be realised if we were to effectively use available data and knowledge to push as far as possible towards achieving the UN SDGs. We identify three drivers that differentiate between these alternative futures: (i) appetite for climate action, (ii) handling extreme events and (iii) climate interventions. Actions that could navigate towards the optimistic, sustainable and technically achievable future include:
  1. proactive creation and enhancement of economic incentives for mitigation and adaptation;
  2. supporting the proliferation of local initiatives to spur a global transformation;
  3. enhancing proactive costal adaptation management;
  4. investing in research to support adaptation to emerging risks;
  5. deploying marine-based renewable energy;
  6. deploying marine-based negative emissions technologies;
  7. developing solar radiation management approaches; and
  8. deploying existing and new solar radiation management approaches to help safeguard critical ecosystems.