Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

National research planning accelerates relevance and immediacy of climate adaptation science

Scott Ling , Alistair Hobday


Adapting to climate change is contingent on an ability to adjust before opportunity is lost. Given that research funding to understand adaptation is limited, rapid return on investment is critical. For Australian marine environments, climate change impacts are well documented and adaptation opportunities have been identified across aquaculture, fisheries, conservation, and tourism sectors. Here we evaluate the recent Australian scientific literature to determine: (1) the degree to which climate change impacts and adaptation have been addressed across sectors; and specifically (2) the role of a major research program instituted in 2009 to address priority climate change questions for these sectors - Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan for Marine Biodiversity and Resources (MNARP). While the number of priority questions addressed by the general scientific literature increased in the 2009-2015 period, there was a 92% increase in the number of priority questions addressed during the peak of MNARP (2013-2014). MNARP research also addressed a greater range of priority questions compared to the general scientific literature, which showed consistency in the questions and study systems examined. Overall, structured research planning accelerated address of key climate change questions – a critical consideration for enacting adaptation in the face of rapid climate change.

MF17330  Accepted 05 December 2017

© CSIRO 2017