Session 6: Marine Extreme Events: Impacts, Forecasting, and Risk Management

About this session

Marine extremes including heatwaves, deoxygenation events, upwelling – are becoming more common in many regions of the world. These extremes are often exacerbated by climate change, such that impacts on marine resource users and coastal communities is greater than in the past. This session will include presentations on the impacts of marine extremes on species and habitats, and human communities and activities. With an improvement in forecasting ability, particularly on seasonal time scales, early warning for the probability of extreme events is now possible. Marine heatwave forecasting, for example, is now providing early warning for coral reef systems, and ocean areas around Australia. Other forecasting systems for marine extremes that are under development can be discussed in this session. Finally, we welcome presentations on risk-based approaches to management of extreme events by governments, industries, and communities. These risk management approaches may be developed as a response to observed or predicted impacts, to forecasts, or to situations that have occurred elsewhere. An understanding of impacts, forecasting, and risk management for extreme events is critical in the West Pacific, where many coastal communities rely on the ocean for food, transport and livelihoods.

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Keynote Speaker

Neil Holbrook, University of Tasmania, Australia

Keynote title: Impacts of Marine Heatwaves on Tropical Western and Central Pacific Island Nations and Their Communities

Neil Holbrook is Professor of Ocean and Climate Dynamics and Head of the Centre for Oceans and Cryosphere within the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). He is a Physical Oceanographer by training, and one of Australia’s original National Greenhouse Advisory Committee (NGAC) PhD scholars graduating from the University of Sydney. His interests and expertise are in the ocean’s role in climate, ocean and climate dynamics, climate variability, extremes, climate change, and systems science. He led Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources [2009-2013]. Neil is President of the International Commission on Climate of IAMAS/IUGG and a Fellow of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.


Alistair Hobday, CSIRO, Australia

Dr Alistair Hobday is Research Director for the Coasts and Ocean Research Program at CSIRO. His research focus is on investigating the impacts of climate change and extreme events on marine biodiversity and fishery resources, and developing, prioritising and testing adaptation options to underpin sustainable use and conservation into the future. He is former co-chair of the international CLIOTOP (Climate Impacts on Top Ocean Predators) program and is a current member of the steering committee for the international Integrated Marine Biosphere Research program (IMBeR).

  • Abstract submission closed: 10 October
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 28 October
  • Session agenda announcement: 4 November
  • Deadline for poster submission: 15 November
  • Registration close: 15 November

This session contributes to the following IMBeR Grand and Innovation Challenges

Grand Challenge I

Understanding and quantifying the state and variability of marine ecosystems

Innovation Challenge 5

Interventions to change the course of climate impacts