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Introductory comments - Global change in marine ecosystems: Patterns, processes and interactions with regional and local scale impacts
Firth, L.B.; Hawkins, S.J. (2011). Introductory comments - Global change in marine ecosystems: Patterns, processes and interactions with regional and local scale impacts. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 400(1-2): 1-6.
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Lausanne; Shannon; Amsterdam. ISSN 0022-0981, more
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  • Innovative coastal technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate, more

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  • Firth, L.B.
  • Hawkins, S.J.

    The world is changing rapidly, ultimately due to the pressure of human population growth driving change at global, regional and local scales. There is convincing and widely accepted evidence that the climate is changing as a result of anthropogenic forcing due to greenhouse gas emissions ([Mitchell et al., 1995], [Lee et al., 2006] and [IPCC, 2007]). Increased concentrations of one greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide is causing a reduction in the pH of the oceans ([Caldeira and Wickett, 2003], [The Royal Society, 2005] and [Doney et al., 2009]). Global trade is also leading to homogenization of floras and faunas as species are deliberately and/or accidentally transported around the world ([Mack et al., 2000], [Kolar and Lodge, 2002] and [Ruiz and Carlton, 2003]; [Drake and Lodge, 2004] and [Rahel, 2007]).Overfishing is occurring globally for large pelagic species at the top of food webs ([Jackson et al., 2001], [Myers and Worm, 2003], [Worm and Myers, 2003], [Heithaus et al., 2008] and [Baum and Worm, 2009]), and at a regional scale for benthic species in most shallow seas ([Solan et al., 2004], [Steneck, 2006], [Kaiser et al., 2007] and [Genner et al., 2010]). Pollution, whilst being more regulated, especially from point sources, is all pervasive (Thompson et al., 2002) and plastic litter is a global problem (Fig. 1; [Thompson et al., 2004] and [Thompson et al., 2009]). Despite preventative efforts, oil spills can still be a major threat to the marine environment ([Southward and Southward, 1978], [Gundlach et al., 1983] and [Hawkins and Southward, 1992]), with the 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico representing one of the worst oil disasters in United States history. The coasts are becoming increasingly developed leading to habitat loss at local and regional scales ([Lotze et al., 2006] and [Airoldi and Beck, 2007]). Responses to rising and stormier seas will inevitably lead to intervention in coastal processes as people and infrastructure will need to be protected, leading to even more coastal habitat modification and loss (Fig. 2; [Airoldi et al., 2005], [Martin et al., 2005], [Moschella et al., 2005], [Bulleri and Chapman, 2010] and [Chapman and Underwood, 2011]).

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