Southern Ocean Sentinel Workshop
View the Report of the April 2009 Workshop
The first workshop of the Southern Ocean Sentinel Program, "Monitoring climate change impacts on marine biodiversity: establishing a Southern Ocean Sentinel program", was held from 20-24 April 2009 at the CCAMLR Headquarters in Hobart, Australia.
This international workshop was convened to consider how to measure, assess and provide early-warning detection of climate change impacts on the Southern Ocean and how these could be used to signal future impacts on marine and other ecosystems elsewhere in the world. A key focus for the workshop was to promote national and international collaboration among science and technology researchers and policy decision makers at various levels.
View Speaker abstracts
The workshop aimed to:
- summarise the state of knowledge on observed and potential climate change impacts on Southern Ocean marine biodiversity
- consider the scientific and technological research required to establish a Southern Ocean Sentinel monitoring program, which would signal the magnitudes and rates of change in Southern Ocean marine ecosystems caused by climate change
- develop necessary links and collaborations among key Australian and international scientists, including coordination with existing international programs (SOOS, ICED), to establish required research programs and implement longer term monitoring.
This workshop considered the following themes:
- What changes have been observed in the physical and chemical environment that might influence marine ecosystems and are linked to changes in climate?
- What are the characteristics of marine biota that determine their resilience or susceptibility to these changes?
- What future changes to biodiversity, including species composition and ecological processes, might be expected in marine ecosystems if the environment continues to change?
- How could rates of changes in biodiversity that result from climate change be measured in the short term and monitored over longer terms?
- What are the key processes in developing an international, multidisciplinary monitoring program to ensure it is cost-effective and likely to achieve its objective?
- What research needs to be done to reduce uncertainty in IPCC-relevant projections of future climate change and its impacts?
A summary of the workshop conclusions and future milestones for the Southern Ocean Sentinel program are available in the Workshop Conclusions document and the workshop report.