CLAMER Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems: Research Results & Public Perception

3S Faculty members Jason Chilvers and Irene Lorenzoni (with Geraldine Terry) have undertaken some of the first research in to how members of the public understand and engage with climate change impacts on marine environments, ranging from ocean acidification and species distribution change to sea-level rise and costal erosion. The research conducted between 2010-2011 involved in-depth qualitative research in the form of a citizens’ panel held on the North Norfolk Coast involving participants from the East Anglia region, UK. This was coupled with a large European-wide survey of over 10,000 public respondents in 10 countries, conducted in collaboration with CEFAS and TNS-BMRB.

Novel findings of the UK-based part of the research were that:

  • Compared to technical and institutional framings of marine climate change impacts, public participants viewed them in the context of other issues relating to marine environments and their everyday lives.
  • While science plays a role, public understandings were primarily shaped by experience, proximity, risk perceptions and moral/equity-based concerns.
  • Most public participants prioritised mitigation over adaptation responses, even in high-risk areas.

The work formed part of CLAMER, a European Union 7th Framework Programme project ‘Climate Change and Marine Ecosystem Research’, involving 17 marine research institutes and universities from 11 European countries.

The wider objectives of the CLAMER project were as follows:

  • To assess and summarize state-of-the art knowledge of research results and public perception of EU research climate change impacts on the marine environment, including the socio-economic consequences;
  • To organize an international conference to promote and exploit EU research results related to climate change impacts on the marine environment and address public perception;
  • To organize outreach events and activities to obtain wide and balanced information and participation from affected European countries and beyond.

People involved:
Jason Chilvers
Irene Lorenzoni
Geraldine Terry

Timescale: 2010-2011

Funded by: European Union 7th Framework Programme