The 2013 MCCIP Report Card provides the very latest updates on our understanding of how climate change is affecting UK seas. Over 150 scientists from more than 50 leading science organisations contributed to this report card covering a wide range of topics ensuring that the information is timely, accurate and comprehensive.
The key messages provided by this Report Card are summarised below:
- Temperature records continue to show an overall upward trend despite short-term variability. For example, in the last decade, the average UK coastal sea-surface temperature was actually lower in 2008-2012 than in 2003-2007.
- The seven lowest Arctic sea-ice extents in the satellite era were recorded between 2007 and 2013. The continuing downward trend is providing opportunities for the use of polar transit routes between Europe and Asia by commercial ships.
- Changes to primary production are expected throughout the UK, with southern regions (e.g. Celtic Sea, English Channel) becoming up to 10% more productive and northern regions (e.g. central and northern North Sea) up to 20% less productive; with clear implications for fisheries.
- There continue to be some challenges in identifying impacts of climate change. These are due to difficulties distinguishing between short-term variability and long-term trends, and between climate drivers and other pressures.