Climate change is having a profound impact on ocean ecosystems. We are already seeing impacts such as increased ocean temperatures, sea level rise, altered weather patterns, changes in ocean currents, melting sea ice and the effects of ocean acidification. These impacts will be felt by ecosystems already affected by existing stressors on the marine environment such as overfishing, habitat loss and land-based sources of pollution. In light of these impacts, MPAs are being increasingly recognized as a key tool for maintaining and restoring ecosystem resilience in a changing climate. MPAs can also provide long term protection for "blue carbon" - coastal habitats including salt marshes, seagrasses and mangroves that provide long term storage for atmospheric carbon.
The MPA Center is working with other climate and MPA programs to provide information, tools and capacity building to address climate change impacts in the ocean through an ecosystem-based, adaptive approach.
From the MPA Center:
- Marine Protected Areas: Building Resilience to Climate Change Impacts
- Sea Level Rise in East Coast Marine Protected Areas
- Climate Change Issue Profile: Rising Sea Surface Temperature
- Climate Change Issue Profile: Sea Level Rise
- Climate Change Issue Profile: Ocean Acidification
From our Partners:
- Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate (Commission for Environmental Cooperation)
- Guide for Planners and Managers to Design Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate (Commission for Environmental Cooperation)
Climate Change Adaptation Training
The MPA Center partners with other MPA and coastal management programs to provide training on climate change adaptation.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Climate Change Strategy
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
- National Park Service – Climate Change Response Program
- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries - Changing Climate, Changing Sanctuaries
- NOAA Climate Data and Services