SWEEP colleagues contribute to Marine Management Organisation’s key evidence requirements

Illustration of South West and plnning issues - Cover illustration provided by Dawn Ashby and Kelvin Boot (PML communications group).
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published new research outputs around the impacts of climate change on the marine environment in regards to planning.

The topic is one of the MMO’s key evidence requirements set out as part of their strategy to increase access to high-quality research and improving understanding of the marine environment. Through Evidence Requirement R009: Impacts of climate change at scales applicable to marine planning the MMO seeks ‘better understanding of shorter time scale predictions (eg to 2040) and finer spatial resolution (plan area or better) to identify the timing and magnitude of impacts on environmental, social and economic conditions.’

SWEEP Research Fellow, Dr Darren Clark, along with colleagues at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, contributed two key elements to R009. The first submission was model projection data that indicates how conditions within the marine environment may diverge from those of the present-day in response to climate change for the South West Marine Plan area. The second was an associated report:  ‘Model projections of marine environmental variables’ response to climate change within England’s South West Marine Plan Areas (MMO 1169).’

The report describes how selected physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the south west’s marine environment may change within the time frame of the South West Marine Plan, as indicated by the sophisticated modelling techniques applied by PML. Crucially, the report highlights where changes are projected to be significant, and how these changes may impact upon sectors and receptors (eg tourism, aquaculture, the incidence of potentially harmful (invasive) species).

The report is intended to be used to influence conservation strategies, planning and licencing activities and decision making, and will contribute more broadly to policy formation related to the South West’s marine environment and the economic prosperity of coastal communities.

The full Model projections of marine environmental variables’ response to climate change within England’s South West Marine Plan Areas (MMO 1169) report is avilable on the MMO webpages.

There is also a research poster summarising the findings available to view below.

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