As the world warms, so too do our oceans. Our oceans are major sources of food production, recreation and employment with relevance at local, regional and international scales. Understanding the implications of climate change on our oceans and assisting individuals, industries and communities to prepare and adapt to optimise the benefits that the oceans provide is a major global challenge facing society.
The world’s natural laboratories for understanding the impact of warming oceans on marine ecosystem goods and services will be those regions that are warming the fastest. They will demonstrate impacts earlier and enable predictive models and on-ground adaptations to be tested and validated first. By networking with researchers in the 24 fastest warming marine regions globally, regions that include developed and developing countries and range from tropical to polar regions, there is an opportunity to form a global partnership that can provide lessons for understanding and future management of marine resources across all scales from individuals to nations. These regions are termed "hotspots".
The Global Marine Hotspots Network aims to provide a platform where information, lessons and outcomes can be shared from regions that are warming the fastest or regions where change is rapidly occurring. Temperature has a major influence on marine ecosystems, however the Network recognises that temperature is only one driver of change and encourages contributions from other researchers or any institutions where impacts are being studied or adaptation options being developed or implemented. The network will promote and facilitate trans-disciplinary approaches that engage all stakeholders and researchers (across disciplines including physical, biological and humanities) to maximise the potential for research to translate into appropriate policy and sustainable and cost-effective on-ground adaptation.