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The Role of Oceans in Climate Change

Sam Johnston

UNU's activities

Climate change is already affecting the ability of marine and coastal ecosystems to provide food, income, protection, cultural identity and recreation to coastal residents, especially in vulnerable communities in tropical and low-lying areas and small island developing states (SIDS).

While adaptation to sea level rise and changes in ocean circulation may be feasible up to certain limits, there are few if any adaptation options to ocean acidification. Yet the role of oceans and the state of knowledge about acidification within the UNFCCC negotiations is extremely limited. The UNU Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) is working with partners to develop awareness of this crucial issue within the negotiation process.

Focus areas:


Regions covered:


Participating entities:

WMO, UNESCO, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOLAS)

Non-UN partners:

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Pew Foundation, and University of British Colombia (UBC) and the Global Oceans Forum


Key products for COP 15: Ocean acidification – what we know and need to know to effectively account for this impact


Page last modified 2011.06.07.

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