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Global change and the future ocean: a grand challenge for marine sciences
Duarte, C.M. (2014). Global change and the future ocean: a grand challenge for marine sciences. Front. Mar. Sci. 1(63): 16 pp.
In: Frontiers in Marine Science. Frontiers Media: Lausanne. ISSN 2296-7745, more
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  • Duarte, C.M., more

    The occurrence of a growing number of environmental changes attributable to human pressures at the planetary scale has led to the identification of these changes as part of a higher-order syndrome referred to as Anthropogenic Global Change (Steffen et al., 2006). Whereas most research on the drivers and impacts of anthropogenic global change has focused on terrestrial ecosystems, which receive 90% of research effort (Hendriks et al., 2006; Richardson and Poloczanska, 2008), the ocean is also impacted by significant pressures (Halpern et al., 2008). Some of these forcings are highly specific, such as ocean acidification (Orr et al., 2005) or overfishing (Jackson et al., 2001), while some others, such as warming, hypoxia, eutrophication, pollution and increased UV radiation are shared with terrestrial and/or freshwater ecosystems. Anthropogenic global pressures are so prevalent in the ocean (e.g., Halpern et al., 2008) that concern on the future of ocean ecosystems (Jackson et al., 2001) resonates among policy makers, who have launched a series of initiatives to address ocean health, such as the Oceans Compact initiative of the UN Secretary General (Ki-moon, 2012), the Marine Strategy Framework Directive of the EU (European Union, 2011), or the US Executive Order 13547 on the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (Obama, 2010). Indeed, forecasting to what extent future ecosystem will be altered is recognized as a great challenge addressed in international conferences and programs (e.g., However, the scientific community involved with the assessment of global change and the future state of the ocean did not have a dedicated forum to share their results until the advent in early 2014 of the section on Global Change and the Future Ocean in Frontiers in Marine Science.

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