A Marine Climate Change reportcard released by Australian Scientists has warned that: ocean temperatures have warmed; the flow of the East Australian Current has strengthened, and will likely increase a further 20% by 2100; Marine biodiversity is changing in south-east Australia in response; and declines of over 10% in growth rates of massive corals on the Great Barrier Reef are likely due to ocean acidification and thermal stress.
This reportcard is the first-ever Australian benchmark of climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and options for adaptation. The report identifies key adaption measures but emphasises the needd for "immediate and vigorous international diplomacy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"The objective of compiling this information is to consider options available to environmental and resource managers in their response to changes in ecosystem balance," said project leader, CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship scientist Dr Elvira Poloczanska.
"On both sides of the continent there is clear evidence of ocean warming and this is already bringing sub-tropical species south into temperate waters, and in the case of the giant kelp forests in Tasmania, appears to be having a severe impact in just a few years."