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human impact

Spatial and temporal changes in cumulative human impacts on the world’s ocean

Human pressures on the ocean are thought to be increasing globally, yet we know little about their patterns of cumulative change, which pressures are most responsible for change, and which places are experiencing the greatest increases. Managers and policymakers require such information to make strategic decisions and monitor progress towards management objectives. Here we calculate and map recent change over 5 years in cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems globally from fishing, climate change, and ocean- and land-based stressors.

Reviving the Oceans Economy: The Case for Action - 2015

Reviving the Oceans Economy: The Case for Action - 2015 brings into focus the economic value our oceans represent for this planet, as the future of humanity depends on their healthy living conditions. While figures in the report are a vast underestimation, the economic assets at risk accurately portray the losses we will incur should we continue on the current destructive trajectory.

The promise of Sydney: A strategy of innovative approaches and recommendations to enhance implementation of marine conservation in the next decade

The marine realm – from the shorelines to the high seas -- remains among the world's most poorly protected ecosystems. With human activities increasingly impacting our ocean, this situation must be reversed rapidly to maintain its essential functions and resources. At the VI the IUCN World Parks Congress, participants in the Marine Theme shared inspiring examples of how effectively managed marine protected areas (MPAs) are a key part of the solution and offer the promise of a better future.

Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios

The ocean moderates anthropogenic climate change at the cost of profound alterations of its physics, chemistry, ecology, and services. Here, we evaluate and compare the risks of impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems—and the goods and services they provide—for growing cumulative carbon emissions under two contrasting emissions scenarios. The current emissions trajectory would rapidly and significantly alter many ecosystems and the associated services on which humans heavily depend.

A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems

The management and conservation of the world's oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly affected by multiple drivers.

Reefs at risk revisited

This report provides a detailed assessment of the status of and threats to the world's coral reefs. It evaluates threats to coral reefs from a wide range of human activities, and includes an assessment of climate-related threats to reefs. It also contains a global assessment of the vulnerability of nations and territories to coral reef degradation.

New paradigms for supporting the resilience of marine ecosystems

Resource managers and scientists from disparate disciplines are rising to the challenge of understanding and moderating human impacts on marine ecosystems. Traditional barriers to communication between marine ecologists, fisheries biologists, social scientists and economists are beginning to break down, and the distinction between applied and basic research is fading.