Oceans and Climate Change: from scientific evidence to action

At the British Embassy Berlin, Wilhelmstr. 70, 10117 Berlin

The world´s seas and oceans play a crucial role in regulating our climate and have been major contributors to limit global warming: oceans absorb more than 25% of CO2 and more than 90% of heat that accumulates in the atmosphere because of human activity. But they do so at a huge cost: The excess heat and CO2 alters the physics, chemistry and ecology of the oceans, undermining their role as climate regulators and having a profound impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems as well as the livelihoods of coastal populations.

Oceans have been described as the “forgotten piece in the climate negotiation puzzle”, since their role with regard to climate change has not received major attention outside the scientific community. But this is changing: Sustainable Development Goal 14 commits to conserve and sustainably use the oceans – a major oceans conference will address this goal later this year. The IPCC has commissioned a special report on climate change and the oceans. And Fiji, a country that is putting a strong emphasis on the link between ocean management and climate change, will host COP 23 in November in Bonn.

In the context of the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans, where the United Kingdom is partnering with Germany, the British Embassy Berlin, the German Climate Consortium and the German Marine Research Consortium are holding an event looking at the latest scientific evidence on how climate change impacts oceans, and to discuss how these findings will need to feed into policy making in order to lead to enhanced action. Two scientists will each give an input, which will be followed by a panel discussion on how the global community can overcome the implementation gap between evidence and action – an ever more demanding task in the light of current political developments.

The event will be held in English, with simultaneous translation into German.