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Climate change and Australian marine life

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Poloczanska, ES and Babcock, RC and Bulter, A and Hobday, AJ and Hoegh-Guldberg, O and Kunz, TJ and Matear, R and Milton, DA and Okey, TA and Richardson, AJ (2007) Climate change and Australian marine life. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review, 2007, 45. pp. 407-478. ISSN 0078-3218

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Abstract

Australia’s marine life is highly diverse and endemic. Here we describe projections of
climate change in Australian waters and examine from the literature likely impacts of these changes
on Australian marine biodiversity. For the Australian region, climate model simulations project oceanic
warming, an increase in ocean stratification and decrease in mixing depth, a strengthening of the
East Australian Current, increased ocean acidification, a rise in sea level, alterations in cloud cover
and ozone levels altering the levels of solar radiation reaching the ocean surface, and altered storm
and rainfall regimes. Evidence of climate change impacts on biological systems are generally scarce
in Australia compared to the Northern Hemisphere. The poor observational records in Australia are
attributed to a lack of studies of climate impacts on natural systems and species at regional or
national scales. However, there are notable exceptions such as widespread bleaching of corals on
the Great Barrier Reef and poleward shifts in temperate fish populations. Biological changes are
likely to be considerable and to have economic and broad ecological consequences, especially in
climate-change ‘hot spots’ such as the Tasman Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Oceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review, 2007
Page Range: pp. 407-478
ISSN: 0078-3218
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2007 03:57
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:25
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