The key findings and recommendations of the study were announced last year, and published in an Extended Executive Summary, which can be downloaded here, along with previews of selected chapters:

The world’s oceans are major contributors to national economies, and key players in the earth’s unfolding story of global environmental change, yet they are chronically neglected in existing economic and climate change strategies at national and global levels.

The book attempts to bridge this gap, giving a holistic view of the value of the oceans, and the costs of neglecting them.

Leading scientists in areas such as fisheries and marine ecosystems, ocean chemistry, marine biogeochemical cycling, climate change, and economics, examine the threats to the oceans both individually and collectively. They provide gross estimates of the economic and societal impacts of these threats, and deliver high-level recommendations for how to plan for the future in a way that accounts for risk, uncertainty and surprises.

The study makes the crucial point that the convergence of multiple stressors – acidification, ocean warming, hypoxia, sea-level rise, pollution, and overuse of marine resources – could lead to damages far greater than just from individual threats.

Among other recommendations, the book urges policy-makers to fully consider the threats to ocean services in broader economic and development plans, including by valuing the massive ‘blue carbon’ absorption potential of marine ecosystems. The authors also call for local measures, such as marine protected areas (MPAs), to boost the resilience of marine ecosystems to insure against the growing risk of extreme events like mass coral bleaching and more intense tropical storms.

The groundbreaking feature of the study is that it begins with a holistic, global-scale perspective, and then shows how the same approach can be applied on a regional scale, for the Pacific. Previous efforts have usually compiled local studies, which are impossible to properly integrate to the global scale.

Find the full text of the book at ScienceDirect (external link, subscription required).

Managing Ocean Environments in a Changing Climate is published by Elsevier. The research on which it is based was funded by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea.