The Marine chapter of the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) report incorporates multiple expert templates developed from
streams of marine data. This metadata record describes the Expert Assessment "Effectiveness of marine management of climate
variability and climate change". The full Expert Assessment, including figures and tables (where provided), is attached
to this record. Where available, the Data Stream(s) used to generate this Expert Assessment are accessible through the
"On-line Resources" section of this record.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESSURE BEING MANAGED, AND ITS IMPACT
Anthropogenic ocean warming, superimposed on natural climate variations – in particular El Niño–Southern Oscillation and
decadal variability – and ocean acidification pose risks to Australia’s coral reef ecosystems, giant kelp and other habitats.
In response, there have been significant shifts in the ranges of various invertebrates and fish. Recent reviews of climate
change impacts and adaptation on Australia’s commercial marine fisheries and marine ecosystems discuss the implications for
On the Great Barrier Reef, rising summer sea temperatures and steadily increasing ocean acidity increase the risk of mass
coral bleaching. The cumulative impacts of economic activities – port dredging and runoff of sediment, nutrients and fertiliser
from agriculture, for example – cause coral reefs to become stressed and more prone to the effects of climate change.
More broadly around Australia, ocean warming and changes in currents are affecting fisheries and aquaculture.
World-leading research on these risks is ongoing through Australian universities and research institutes and in consequence
the understanding of physical processes is high. Understanding of the economic and cultural significance of the marine environment
for Australia is lower, but considerable value is attributed to coastal regions in temperate and tropical Australia. Understanding
of the management strategies required to combat the risks is lower still due at least in part to its complexity. Research
is ongoing, but a greater investment in developing, implementing and monitoring strategies, monitoring and understanding
change, and systematic acquisition and storage of data, is required.
DATA STREAM(S) USED IN EXPERT ASSESSMENT
The assessment is based on published literature – a list is provided in the attached Expert Assessment.
2016 SOE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY [see attached Expert Assessment for full details]
• Understanding of pressure: Understanding of climate variability and its management is reasonably high and improving with
government funding for well-established and internationally-respected institutions.
• Planning associated with management of pressure: In-depth planning for icons such as the Great Barrier Reef continues,
and commercial fisheries are aware of the need to plan around climate variability. Elsewhere efforts are more patchy.
• Input for informing management of pressure: Short-term funding cycles are a continuing threat to effective management for
long-term goals and sustainability.
• Processes associated with developing, monitoring, and updating management: Management tools and approaches exist and in
some cases are applied; stronger regulation is required for long-term environmental health.
• Outputs from management framework in place: Conflicting interests between economic development and the environment are leading
to a gradual long-term environmental declines, which current management is not addressing.
• Outcomes of management framework in place: Further policy and management controls are required to address declining environmental
health and emerging risks of climate change.
CHANGES SINCE 2011 SOE ASSESSMENT
Not specified. Review of additional literature has been conducted since 2011 SoE Assessment.
Bates AE, NS Barrett, RD Stuart-Smith, NJ Holbrook, PA Thompson and GJ Edgar, 2014a: Resilience and signatures of tropicalization
in protected reef fish communities. Nature Climate Change, 4, 62-67, DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE2062.
Bates AE, GT Pecl, S Frusher, AJ Hobday, T Wernberg, DA Smale, JM Sunday, NA Hill, NK Dulvy, RK Colwell, NJ Holbrook, EA
Fulton, D Slawinski, M Feng, GJ Edgar, BT Radford, PA Thompson and RA Watson, 2014b: Defining and observing stages of climate-mediated
range shifts in marine systems. Global Environmental Change, 26, 27-38, doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.009.
Bennett, S, T Wernberg, SD Connell, AJ Hobday, CR Johnson and ES Poloczanksa, 2015: The 'Great Southern Reef': social,
ecological and economic value of Australia's neglected kelp forests. Marine and Freshwater Research, doi:10.1071/MF15232.
Creighton C, AJ Hobday, M Lockwood and GT Pecl, 2015: Adapting Management of Marine Environments to a Changing Climate: A
Checklist to Guide Reform and Assess Progress. Ecosystems, DOI 10.1007/s10021-015-9925-2.
Davidson JL, IE Van Putten, P Leith, M Nursey-Bray, EM Madin and NJ Holbrook, 2013: Toward operationalizing resilience
concepts in Australian marine sectors coping with climate change. Ecology and Society, 18(3): 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05607-180304.
Feng, M, MJ McPhaden, SP Xie and J Hafner, 2013: La Niña forces unprecedented Leeuwin Current warming in 2011. Nature Scientific
Reports 3, 1277, DOI: 10.1038/srep01277.
Frusher SD, AJ Hobday, SM Jennings, C Creighton, D D’Silva, M Haward, NJ Holbrook, M Nursey-Bray, GT Pecl and I van Putten,
2014: The short history of research in a marine climate change hotspot: from anecdote to adaptation in south-east Australia.
Special Hotspots Edition of Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 24, 593-611, DOI 10.1007/s11160-013-9325-7.
Gattuso, J-P, O Hoegh-Guldberg and H-O Pörtner, 2014: Cross-chapter box on coral reefs. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts,
Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, CB, VR Barros, DJ Dokken, KJ Mach, MD Mastrandrea, TE Bilir,
M Chatterjee, KL Ebi, YO Estrada, RC Genova, B Girma, ES Kissel, AN Levy, S MacCracken, PR Mastrandrea, and LL White (eds.)].
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 97-100.
GBRMPA 2014: Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville.
Holbrook NJ and JE Johnson, 2014: Climate change impacts and adaptation of commercial marine fisheries in Australia: a review
of the science. Climatic Change, 124(4), 703-715, DOI 10.1007/s10584-014-1110-7.
Holbrook NJ, JN Brown, J Davidson, M Feng, AJ Hobday, JM Lough, S McGregor, SB Power and JS Risbey, 2012: El Niño – Southern
Oscillation. In A Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card for Australia 2012 (Eds. E.S. Poloczanska, A.J.
Hobday and A.J. Richardson), Hobart, pp 81-111. ISBN 978-0-643-10928-5.
Johnson CR, SC Banks, NS Barrett, F Cazassus, PK Dunstan, GJ Edgar, SD Frusher, C Gardner, M Haddon, F Helidoniotis, KL Hill,
NJ Holbrook, GW Hosie, PR Last, SD Ling, J Melbourne-Thomas, K Miller, GT Pecl, AJ Richardson, KR Ridgway, SR Rintoul, DA
Ritz, DJ Ross, JC Sanderson, SA Shepherd, A Slotwinski, KM Swadling and N Taw, 2011: Climate change cascades: shifts in
oceanography, species’ ranges and subtidal marine community dynamics in eastern Tasmania. Journal of Experimental Marine
Biology and Ecology, 400, 17-32. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2011.02.032.
Johnson JE and NJ Holbrook, 2014: Adaptation of Australia’s marine ecosystems to climate change: using science to inform
conservation management. International Journal of Ecology, Volume 2014, article ID 140354, 12 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/140354.
Last PR, WT White, DC Gledhill, AJ Hobday, R Brown, GJ Edgar and G Pecl, 2011: Long-term shifts in abundance and distribution
of a temperate fish fauna: a response to climate change and fishing practices. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20, 58-72.
Lockwood M, J Davidson, M Hockings, M Haward and L Kriwoken, 2012: Marine biodiversity conservation governance and management:
Regime requirements for global environmental change. Ocean and Coastal Management, 69, 160-172.
Lynch, TP, B Elisabetta, KE Morello, AJ Richardson, W Rochester, CR Steinberg, M Roughan, P Thompson, JF Middleton, M Feng,
R Sherrington, V Brando, B Tilbrook, K Ridgway, S Allen, P Doherty, K Hill and TC Moltmann, 2014: IMOS National Reference
Stations: A Continental-Wide Physical, Chemical and Biological Coastal Observing System. PLoS ONE 9, 12, e113652.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113652.
Metcalf SJ, EI van Putten, S Frusher, NA Marshall, M Tull, N Caputi, M Haward, AJ Hobday, NJ Holbrook, SM Jennings, GT Pecl
and JL Shaw 2015: Measuring the vulnerability of marine social-ecological systems: a prerequisite for the identification
of climate change adaptations. Ecology and Society, 20(2): 35. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07509-200235.
Poloczanska ES, AJ Hobday and AJ Richardson (Eds), 2012: Marine Climate Change in Australia, Impacts and Adaptation Responses.
2012 Report Card. ISBN 978-0-643-10927-8.
Scheffer, M, S Barrett, SR Carpenter and others, 2015: Creating a safe operating space for iconic ecosystems. Science, 347,
Serrao-Neumann S, JL Davidson, CL Baldwin, A Dedekorkut-Howes, JC Ellison, NJ Holbrook, M Howes, C Jacobson and EA Morgan,
2016: Marine governance to avoid tipping points: Can we adapt the adaptability envelope? Marine Policy, 65, 56-67, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.12.007.
Sunday JM, GT Pecl, S Frusher, AJ Hobday, N Hill, NJ Holbrook, GJ Edgar, N Barrett, T Wernberg, RA Watson, DA Smale, EA Fulton,
D Slawinski, M Feng, BT Radford, PA Thompson, and AE Bates, 2015: Species traits and climate velocity explain geographic
range shifts in an ocean-warming hotspot. Ecology Letters, doi:10.1111/ele.12474.
QUALITY OF DATA USED IN THE ASSESSMENT
High – includes peer-reviewed literature as well as reports from reputable institutions.
CUSTODIAN AND LOCATION OF DATA
Not applicable (assessment has been conducted by literature review).
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STATE OR RECENT TREND
Expert judgement based on published literature.
When citing this Expert Assessment in a list of references use the following format:
citation author name/s (year metadata published), metadata title. Citation author organisation/s. File identifier and Data
accessed at (add http link).