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Precautionary spatial protection to facilitate the scientific study of habitats and communities under ice shelves in the context of recent, rapid, regional climate change

01 Jan 2013-

AbstractRecent rapid climate change is now well documented in the Antarctic, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula region. One of the most evident signs of climate change has been ice-shelf collapse; overall, 87% of the Peninsula’s glaciers have retreated in recent decades. Further ice-shelf collapse will lead to the loss of existing marine habitats and to the creation of new habitats, with consequent changes in both ecological processes and in community structure. Habitats revealed by collapsed ice shelves therefore offer unique scientific opportunities. Given the complexity of the possible interactions, and the need to study these in the absence of any other human-induced perturbation, this paper highlights why commercial fishing activities should not be permitted in these habitats, and suggests that areas under existing ice shelves in Subareas 88.3, 48.1 and 48.5 should be preserved and protected for scientific study. The boundaries of these areas should henceforth remain fixed, even if the ice shelves recede or collapse in the future. Designation of areas under ice shelves as areas for scientific study would fulfil one of the recommendations made by the Antarctic Treaty Meeting of Experts in 2010.

Topics: Ice shelf (54%), Climate change (54%), Lead (sea ice) (51%), Glacier (51%)

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Citations
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23 Mar 2010
Abstract: Cet article analyse les relations conceptuelles (imprecises) de la vulnerabilite, de la resilience et de la capacite d’adaptation aux changements climatiques selon le systeme socio-ecologique (socio-ecologigal systems – SES) afin de comprendre et anticiper le comportement des composantes sociales et ecologiques du systeme. Une serie de questions est proposee par l’auteur sur la specification de ces termes afin de developper une structure conceptuelle qui inclut les dimensions naturelles et so...

1,087 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The high seas surrounding Antarctica have a vast and diverse marine environment. Following its establishment in 1982, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has managed the ecosystems of the high seas of the Southern Ocean. CCAMLR pioneered the ecosystem approach to resource management, took action on the problem of sea bird by-catch, and has established measures to combat illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. CCAMLR is seen as an example of best practice in managing marine resources in international waters. At the same time, CCAMLR's challenges arise in the balance between ‘fishing’ and ‘conservation’ interests; for example in the current debates over climate change and marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. In each of these examples, CCAMLR's consensus-based decision-making process has been a central element in shaping outcomes. This paper considers CCAMLR's achievements in sustainable marine ecosystems and identifies emerging challenges.

13 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Climate change is having far reaching effects on the marine environment. Often considered a pristine and isolated region, the Southern Ocean is becoming increasingly more affected by the impacts of climate change. The legal framework governing fisheries and protecting the marine environment of the Southern Ocean is both global and regional. On the global level, most of the waters around Antarctica fall under the high seas regime of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), although seven states have asserted a claim to the territorial sea adjacent to their Antarctic territories under the Antarctic Treaty. On a regional level, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) manages fisheries. As climate change will inevitably have impacts on the Southern Ocean, it is important to assess how the current legal framework addresses this issue. The recommendations for climate change adaptation given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are threefold: international cooperation, precautionary approach and ecosystem approach. By evaluating the extent to which these recommendations have been implemented in the global and regional legal frameworks, the flexibility and resilience to tackle climate change of the provisions can be assessed. On the global level, specific provisions from UNCLOS and the Fish Stock Agreement (FSA) provide for both the precautionary and ecosystem approaches. Regionally, CCAMLR has shown to be at the forefront in integrating the precautionary and ecosystem approaches in fishery management, providing an example of sustainable adaptation strategies for other Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The assessment identifies South Georgia and sub-Antarctic islands in the Indian Ocean as being the most critical data gaps for this species and suggests that the global population has increased by approximately 11% since 2013, with even greater increases along the WAP.
Abstract: Though climate change is widely known to negatively affect the distribution and abundance of many species, few studies have focused on species that may benefit. Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) populations have grown along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), a region accounting for ~ 30% of their global population. These trends of population growth in Gentoo Penguins are in stark contrast to those of Adelie and Chinstrap Penguins, which have experienced considerable population declines along the WAP attributed to environmental changes. The recent discovery of previously unknown Gentoo Penguin colonies along the WAP and evidence for southern range expansion since the last global assessment in 2013 motivates this review of the abundance and distribution of this species. We compiled and collated all available recent data for every known Gentoo Penguin colony in the world and report on previously unknown Gentoo Penguin colonies along the Northwestern section of the WAP. We estimate the global population of Gentoo Penguins to be 432,144 (95th CI 338,059 – 534,114) breeding pairs, with approximately 364,359 (95th CI 324,052 – 405,132) breeding pairs (85% of the population) living in the Atlantic sector. Our estimates suggest that the global population has increased by approximately 11% since 2013, with even greater increases (23%) along the WAP. The Falkland Islands population, which comprises 30% of the global population, has remained stable, though only a subset of colonies have been surveyed since the last comprehensive survey in 2010. Our assessment identifies South Georgia and sub-Antarctic islands in the Indian Ocean as being the most critical data gaps for this species.

3 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Southern Ocean marine ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate-driven change, the impacts of which must be factored into conservation and management. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is aware of the urgent need to develop climate-responsive options within its ecosystem approach to management. However, limited capacity as well as political differences have meant that little progress has been made. Strengthening scientific information flow to inform CCAMLR’s decision-making on climate change may help to remove some of these barriers. On this basis, this study encourages the utilisation of outputs from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) constitutes the most rigorous and up-to-date assessment of how oceans and the cryosphere are changing, how they are projected to change, and the consequences of those changes, together with a range of response options. To assist CCAMLR to focus on what is most useful from this extensive global report, SROCC findings that have specific relevance to the management of Southern Ocean ecosystems are extracted and summarised here. These findings are translated into recommendations to CCAMLR, emphasising the need to reduce and manage the risks that climate change presents to harvested species and the wider ecosystem of which they are part. Improved linkages between IPCC, CCAMLR and other relevant bodies may help overcome existing impediments to progress, enabling climate change to become fully integrated into CCAMLR’s policy and decision-making.

2 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
29 Sep 2005-Nature
TL;DR: 13 models of the ocean–carbon cycle are used to assess calcium carbonate saturation under the IS92a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario for future emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously.
Abstract: Today's surface ocean is saturated with respect to calcium carbonate, but increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are reducing ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of calcium carbonate saturation. Experimental evidence suggests that if these trends continue, key marine organisms—such as corals and some plankton—will have difficulty maintaining their external calcium carbonate skeletons. Here we use 13 models of the ocean–carbon cycle to assess calcium carbonate saturation under the IS92a 'business-as-usual' scenario for future emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. In our projections, Southern Ocean surface waters will begin to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of calcium carbonate, by the year 2050. By 2100, this undersaturation could extend throughout the entire Southern Ocean and into the subarctic Pacific Ocean. When live pteropods were exposed to our predicted level of undersaturation during a two-day shipboard experiment, their aragonite shells showed notable dissolution. Our findings indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously.

3,898 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article uses a systemic perspective to identify and analyze the conceptual relations among vulnerability, resilience, and adaptive capacity within socio-ecological systems (SES). Since different intellectual traditions use the terms in different, sometimes incompatible, ways, they emerge as strongly related but unclear in the precise nature of their relationships. A set of diagnostic questions is proposed regarding the specification of the terms to develop a shared conceptual framework for the natural and social dimensions of global change. Also, development of a general theory of change in SESs is suggested as an important agenda item for research on global change.

1,779 citations


23 Mar 2010
Abstract: Cet article analyse les relations conceptuelles (imprecises) de la vulnerabilite, de la resilience et de la capacite d’adaptation aux changements climatiques selon le systeme socio-ecologique (socio-ecologigal systems – SES) afin de comprendre et anticiper le comportement des composantes sociales et ecologiques du systeme. Une serie de questions est proposee par l’auteur sur la specification de ces termes afin de developper une structure conceptuelle qui inclut les dimensions naturelles et so...

1,087 citations


"Precautionary spatial protection to..." refers background in this paper

  • ...In the face of climate change, long-term reference areas could also potentially increase ecosystem robustness (Brand and Jax, 2007; Gallopín, 2006), particularly where other stressors, including science, tourism and harvesting, are absent....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that mean global warming was 0.6 ± 0.2 °C during the 20th century and cited anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases as the likely cause of temperature rise in the last 50 years. But this mean value conceals the substantial complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally- and diurnally-biased, decadally-variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming, which was substantially more rapid than the global mean. However, each RRR warming occupies a different climatic regime and may have an entirely different underlying cause. We discuss the significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. Here warming was much more rapid than in the rest of Antarctica where it was not significantly different to the global mean. We highlight climate proxies that appear to show that RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia, and so unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. So while the station records do not indicate a ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming, the RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula might be a regional amplification of such warming. This, however, remains unproven since we cannot yet be sure what mechanism leads to such an amplification. We discuss several possible candidate mechanisms: changing oceanographic or changing atmospheric circulation, or a regional air-sea-ice feedback amplifying greenhouse warming. We can show that atmospheric warming and reduction in sea-ice duration coincide in a small area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process is the probable cause of RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining the RRR warming is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

1,048 citations


"Precautionary spatial protection to..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Climate change is known to be regional and can occur rapidly (Vaughan et al., 2003); consequently, investigating how different parts of the Antarctic will respond has to be carried out over a variety of spatial scales....

    [...]

  • ...Therefore, the regional nature of climate change (Vaughan et al., 2003) coupled with the high levels of endemism (Brandt, 2012) mean that community processes will vary across a range of sites....

    [...]


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Abstract: This article reviews the variety of definitions proposed for "resilience" within sustainability science and suggests a typology according to the specific degree of normativity. There is a tension between the original descriptive concept of resilience first defined in ecological science and a more recent, vague, and malleable notion of resilience used as an approach or boundary object by different scientific disciplines. Even though increased conceptual vagueness can be valuable to foster communication across disciplines and between science and practice, both conceptual clarity and practical relevance of the concept of resilience are critically in danger. The fundamental question is what conceptual structure we want resilience to have. This article argues that a clearly specified, descriptive concept of resilience is critical in providing a counterbalance to the use of resilience as a vague boundary object. A clear descriptive concept provides the basis for operationalization and application of resilience within ecological science.

1,016 citations