Climate change, with its biophysical, social, economic and political impacts, is no longer to be considered only as a technical problem. It is also an issue requiring adaptive and creative responses and strategies that involve consideration of different forms of knowledge and the cultural dimension of societies. This becomes even more evident in ecosystems and coastal communities affected by numerous local and global disturbances.
The Earth is teetering toward climate crisis. The ocean, more than anything, is helping to keep the balance. But emerging science shows the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon and regulate temperatures is changing in ways we don’t understand. It is a change that is not accounted for in global climate targets. It’s a risk we can no longer afford to take. The time has come to transform climate action.
Professor Fanny Noisette is a specialist in the ecology of coastal systems and climate change. Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Integrated Analysis of Marine Systems, she works with her team on the understanding and management of coastal marine ecosystems in a context of global ocean changes.
She and her team are developing a collaborative research approach that brings together researchers from the natural sciences and engineering sectors, as well as the social and human sciences. Their research focuses on coastal ecosystems through the lens of socio-ecological systems – integrated systems that couple the needs of societies and nature. Their work aims to redefine ecosystems by considering all the actors, including humans, as active components of the system.
“The transformation of the oceans in the face of climate change and the impacts on coastal communities are complex, multi-scale and sometimes elusive. This complexity can be a barrier to awareness of the seriousness of a situation, to acting and committing to profound changes in practices.
By adopting a dual approach to the integrated analysis of coastal marine systems – i.e., from the individual to the ecosystem and interdisciplinary – the work carried out by my team within the UNESCO Chair, aims to advance reflection on the management and conservation of coastal systems in the face of local and global changes to the ocean. The integration of different forms of knowledge not only improves the monitoring, holistic understanding, and predictions of coastal ecosystems, but also the social acceptability of research projects and the involvement of the population in the development of solutions.”
Transforming Climate Action will bring together more than 170 researchers at Dalhousie and its academic partners to embark on the most intensive investigation into the ocean’s role in climate change ever undertaken. It will make Canada a global leader in climate science, innovation, and solutions by putting the ocean front and centre in the fight against a warming planet.Learn more