Estuarine/coastal and marine systems are important sources of food, energy and water, but have come under stress and been altered significantly due to human population growth and rapid industrialization across the world. Environmental stressors induced by global climate change include increasing temperature, alternation of precipitation and runoff, sea-level rise, frequency and intensity of storms and extreme weather events, and ocean acidification. Stressors due to direct human activities (non-climate induced) are over-fishing, coastal eutrophication, land-use change, and loss of habitats.
In this talk, Fei Chai, professor at the School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, will present examples to highlight how changing environmental factors and direct human activities affect the structure and function of coastal and marine ecosystems.
The consequences of global change for coastal and marine ecosystems are complex, and predictions of the different factors and their associated impact have varying degrees of confidence. In order to improve our understanding and forecasts the impact of global change on coastal and marine ecosystems, we need to establish and maintain ocean observing networks that link from climate forcing to regional and local ecosystems. In addition, we will need to develop and examine different adaptation strategies for resorting and keeping the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems.
Development of blue economy needs to have science-based and well-informed policies and decision-making processes in order to sustain economic prosperity and maintain marine ecosystem health.