Socioeconomic impacts of marine heatwaves: Global issues and opportunities

Authors: Kathryn E. Smith, Michael T. Burrows, Alistair J. Hobday, Alex Sen Gupta, Pippa J. Moore, Mads Thomsen, Thomas Wernberg and Dan A. Smale

Extreme warming events in the world’s oceans are becoming more widespread and frequent; eight of the 10 most severe recorded events have taken place in the past decade. Smith et al. review how these marine heatwaves are severely altering ecosystem service provision, with widespread socioeconomic impacts. Heatwave effects, including range shifts and mass mortality of marine species and harmful algal blooms, have knock-on economic consequences that already run into billions of US dollars. As well as reviewing the impacts of these events, the authors discuss the mitigation and adaptation measures that are needed to alleviate the risks and damaging impacts.

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