The ACE CRC's Project R2.3 is establishing robust models and assessment methods for evaluating the current and future status of Southern Ocean ecosystems, and to inform ecosystem monitoring and management.
Like many marine ecosystems world-wide, the Southern Ocean is experiencing significant physical, chemical and biological changes linked to climate change. These changes are likely to have far-reaching consequences for the conservation of threatened and depleted marine species and for the sustainable exploitation of fisheries. However the nature of potential impacts in the future remains poorly understood.
Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) have highlighted the need for improved methods for assessing and predicting how Southern Ocean ecosystems are responding to climate change.
To address this challenge, the ACE CRC’s Status and Trends in Habitats, Key Species and Ecosystems team are working in collaboration with international partners to develop a quantitative framework for assessing Southern Ocean habitats, species and foodwebs. The geographical focus of ACE CRC’s work is on the Indian and West Pacific Sectors of the Southern Ocean, and will help inform broader international efforts toward an integrated observing system for the region to provide robust assessments of future change.
The project will provide governments and management agencies with the best available forecasts when evaluating conservation and resource management strategies.