Researchers call for Antarctic marine ecosystem protection at COP26

Protecting Southern Ocean ecosystems is a global task, and it’s on the agenda at COP26 in Glasgow this weekend.

How will climate change affect Antarctic marine life and what can we do to reduce the severity of those impacts?

The first Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO) will be showcased in the COP26 Cryosphere Pavilion on Saturday November 6 at 9pm ADST (10am GMT).

More than 25 IMAS and University of Tasmania researchers contributed to MEASO, with Tasmanian researcher Dr Andrew Constable from UTAS and the Centre for Marine Socioecology (CMS) leading the MEASO initiative.

“The Southern Ocean is in Tasmania’s backyard and we are a primary gateway to the region,” said contributing author and IMAS researcher, Assoc Prof Kerrie Swadling.

“Changes that happen in the Southern Ocean will have direct and profound effects, so the decisions made at COP26 could help ensure a thriving marine ecosystem, with wide-ranging benefits for human society, including fisheries and science.”

Join the conversation live from the COP26 Cryosphere Pavilion this Saturday night ​​​​​​​
Learn more about the MEASO initiative and download the MEASO e-book here

"Protecting Southern Ocean ecosystems is a global task and this substantial international research effort has now shown that this region can only be safeguarded by a collective global will to conserve the region. These polar ecosystems are at great risk without keeping global warming below two degrees, and global and local strategies are needed urgently to give Antarctic marine ecosystems the best chance of surviving climate change." Dr Andrew Constable

Images: Shutterstock

Published 5 November 2021

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
28 October, 2022