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Maritime Industries- Environmental risk and Vulnerability Assessment (MINERVA) - ME5213

The primary aim of this project will be to enhance the evidence-base on marine climate change impacts, ahead of the next UK Climate Change Risk Assessment in 2017. It will provide inputs to the UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) as well as picking up on many of the most pressing risks or opportunities identified in the October 2012 MACCAP report. Marine risks are often overlooked in national or international assessments (including the IPCC 4th Assessment). Maritime industries were not covered at all in the 2006 ‘Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’ funded by the UK Treasury. Within the MINERVA project we will work to raise the profile of maritime climate change issues in general, and we will aim to influence the development of maritime climate change policy in the UK and elsewhere in Europe (e.g. through the next OSPAR Quality Status Report, due in 2015). The following specific objectives will be addressed within the MINERVA project:
a) To explore the relative merits of different climate change risk assessment methodologies, with specific reference to quantifying economic costs and benefits. This will build upon the MACCAP prioritization exercise, but will endeavor to devise a more rigorous means of economic quantification.

b) To apply the techniques developed under objective ”a” and provide a full prioritization matrix of maritime climate change risks ahead of the next CCRA in 2017.

c) To work with maritime industries (shipping, oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, aggregate extraction) to determine key wind-speed, wave-height and storminess thresholds beyond which safe operations or activities are no longer possible.

d) To make use of existing and newly derived outputs from regional climate models (including the next generation of UKCP models in 2014) to characterize future and historic changes in storminess around the United Kingdom. Outputs (maps) from storm models will be used in conjunction with the thresholds obtained under objective “c” to identify regions where maritime activities could be impacted most severely.

e) To condut a desk-based risk assessment in order to identify non-native species that have not yet arrived in the UK, but which are likely to arrive and which might establish populations in the near future (because they occur further south or at the other end of busy shipping routes).

f) To develop bioclimate-envelope modeling techniques in order to characterize non-native species distribution patterns, and specifically to determine the area of suitable habitat available to colonize in the UK at present and how this might change in the future as a result of climate change.

g) To conduct laboratory and modelling studies to determine possible consequences of interacting pressures on marine organisms (e.g. the cumulative impact of warmer sea water, ocean acidification, reduced oxygen). Where possible, mechanistic process models such as Dynamic Energy Budgets (DEB) will be developed, in order to ‘scale up’ from the laboratory experiments (objective “g”) to regional scale implications and to quantify impacts on maritime industries.

h) To use GIS spatial mapping techniques, together with outputs from regional climate models (see objective “i”) to characterize regions where multiple pressures are likely to interact to impact marine organisms.

i) Update the existing single UKCP09 shelf seas climate change scenario by providing estimates of uncertainty arising from parameters of the driving climate model.
Project Documents
• TPS - Two Page Summary : ME5213 TPS Start   (293k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2017

Cost: £503,445
Contractor / Funded Organisations