Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans (3rd Symposium)

When, local time: 
Monday, 23 March 2015 - 9:00am to Friday, 27 March 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: 
Brazil, Santos
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
Contact: 
k.isensee@unesco.org

The Earth’s climate is changing at a time when society is re-evaluating its relationship with nature and with the services that natural systems provide to human societies. The Ocean is central to the climate system, recycling half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbing more than 26% of the CO2 we emit through the burning of fossil fuels. The Ocean accumulates 97% of the Earth’s water and 95% of all mobile carbon, providing food and livelihood opportunities to secure our well-being.

Discussing the effects of climate change on the world's oceans is thus critical to understanding what is changing, how is it changing and how these changes will influence society. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on the marine environment are already visible, but others can only be projected based on enhanced observations, experimentations and modeling efforts. We still have a rudimentary understanding of the sensitivity, vulnerability and adaptability of natural and managed marine ecosystems to climate change.

The strong linkage between ocean dynamics and societal needs, underlined by the role of science, provides the background for a series of climate change meetings coordinated by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES).

The Third International Symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans will be held in Santos (Brazil) by invitation of the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IOUSP). This symposium will provide opportunities for the international science community to bring the latest information, understanding and assessment of the impacts of climate change on our ocean.

Twelve sessions covering different but interconnected themes have been selected, from physical processes and their interaction with ecosystem dynamics, to resource provision and ocean governance. The latest developments in predicting changes in biodiversity, phenology, fisheries and ecosystems as well as in the physical systems that sustains these, will inform discussions on the risks and opportunities that climate change will bring to coastal communities and to society at large. The symposium will also highlight knowledge gaps to stimulate the development of the new generation of science of climate change impacts on our ocean.