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The Oceans 2015 Initiative, Part II (2015)


Between 1971 and 2010, the oceans have absorbed approximately 93% of the excess heat caused by global warming, leading to several major changes such as the increase in stratification, limitation in the circulation of nutrients from deep waters to the surface, and sea level rise. In addition, the oceans absorbed 26% of anthropogenic CO2 emitted since the start of the Industrial Revolution, which resulted in ocean acidification. Together, these processes strongly affect marine and coastal species’ geographic distribution, abundance, migration patterns and phenology. As a consequence of these complex environmental changes, marine and coastal human sectors (i.e., fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism and health) are in turn at risk. This report provides an updated synthesis of what the science tells about such a risk, based upon IPCC AR5 (2013 - 2014) and published scientific articles and grey literature that have been published between July 2013 and April 2015.

The report is complemented by “The Oceans 2015 Initiative, Part I - An updated synthesis of the observed and projected impacts of climate change on physical and biological processes in the oceans”.

Reference information

Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)


Acidification, aquaculture, coastal tourism, fisheries, human health, ocean warming, oxygene depletion

Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures, Sea Level Rise


Observations and Scenarios, Vulnerability Assessment


Biodiversity, Coastal areas, Health, Marine and Fisheries

Geographic characterisation


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