This 2012 Report Card demonstrates that climate change is having significant impacts on Australia’s oceans and marine ecosystems.
Many new changes have been documented since the 2009 Report Card. There is now striking evidence of extensive southward movements of tropical fish and plankton species in southeast Australia, declines in abundance of temperate species, and the first signs of the effect of ocean acidification on marine species with shells.
The report card highlights that the Australian science community is widely engaged in research, monitoring and observing programs to increase our understanding of climate change impacts and inform management. The comprehensive information shows that adaptation planning is already underway, from seasonal forecasts for fisheries and aquaculture, to climate-proofing of breeding sites for turtles and seabirds. The up-to-date information presented will assist ocean managers and policy makers to improve and justify actions to help our marine ecosystems adapt to the threat of climate change.
Over 80 of Australia’s leading marine scientists from 34 universities and research organisations contributed to the 2012 Report Card. Each section contains information on what is already happening, what may happen it future, and describes the actions underway to prepare and adapt to changes.