Climate impacts on the ocean are making the Sustainable Development Goals a moving target travelling away from us

Type Article
Date 2019-07
Language English
Author(s) Singh Gerald G.1, Hilmi Nathalie2, Bernhardt Joey R.1, Cisneros Montemayor Andres M.1, Cashion Madeline1, Ota Yoshitaka3, Acar Sevil4, Brown Jason M.5, Cottrell Richard6, 7, Djoundourian Salpie8, González‐espinosa Pedro C.1, 9, Lam Vicky1, Marshall Nadine10, 11, Neumann Barbara12, Pascal Nicolas13, Reygondeau Gabriel1, Rocklӧv Joacim14, Safa Alain15, Virto Laura R.16, Cheung William1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries University of British Columbia Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
2 : Centre Scientifique de Monaco Monaco, Monaco
3 : School of Marine and Environmental Affairs University of Washington Seattle Washington, usa
4 : Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies Boğaziçi University Istanbul, Turkey
5 : Faculty of Environment Simon Fraser University Burnaby British Columbia, Canada
6 : Centre for Marine Socioecology University of Tasmania Hobart Tasmania, Australia
7 : Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies University of Tasmania Hobart Tasmania, Australia
8 : Adnan Kassar School of Business, Department of Economics Lebanese American University Byblos ,Lebanon
9 : Geography Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver British Columbia ,Canada
10 : College of Science & Engineering James Cook University Townsville Queensland ,Australia
11 : Land and Water Flagship Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Townsville Queensland ,Australia
12 : Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam ,Germany
13 : Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement (CRIOBE) Paris ,France
14 : Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Umeå University Umeå ,Sweden
15 : Skill Partners Grasse,France
16 : Management Research Centre, Ecole Polytechnique & European Institute on Marine Studies, University of West Brittany, Brest, France
Source People and Nature (2575-8314) (Wiley), 2019-07 , Vol. 1 , N. 3 , P. 317-330
DOI 10.1002/pan3.26
Keyword(s) climate change, expert elicitation, marine ecosystem services, ocean sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals

Climate change is impacting marine ecosystems and their goods and services in diverse ways, which can directly hinder our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set out under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Through expert elicitation and a literature review, we find that most climate change effects have a wide variety of negative consequences across marine ecosystem services, though most studies have highlighted impacts from warming and consequences of marine species.

Climate change is expected to negatively influence marine ecosystem services through global stressors—such as ocean warming and acidification—but also by amplifying local and regional stressors such as freshwater runoff and pollution load.

Experts indicated that all SDGs would be overwhelmingly negatively affected by these climate impacts on marine ecosystem services, with eliminating hunger being among the most directly negatively affected SDG.

Despite these challenges, the SDGs aiming to transform our consumption and production practices and develop clean energy systems are found to be least affected by marine climate impacts. These findings represent a strategic point of entry for countries to achieve sustainable development, given that these two goals are relatively robust to climate impacts and that they are important pre‐requisite for other SDGs.

Our results suggest that climate change impacts on marine ecosystems are set to make the SDGs a moving target travelling away from us. Effective and urgent action towards sustainable development, including mitigating and adapting to climate impacts on marine systems are important to achieve the SDGs, but the longer this action stalls the more distant these goals will become.

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Singh Gerald G., Hilmi Nathalie, Bernhardt Joey R., Cisneros Montemayor Andres M., Cashion Madeline, Ota Yoshitaka, Acar Sevil, Brown Jason M., Cottrell Richard, Djoundourian Salpie, González‐espinosa Pedro C., Lam Vicky, Marshall Nadine, Neumann Barbara, Pascal Nicolas, Reygondeau Gabriel, Rocklӧv Joacim, Safa Alain, Virto Laura R., Cheung William (2019). Climate impacts on the ocean are making the Sustainable Development Goals a moving target travelling away from us. People and Nature, 1(3), 317-330. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :