The Marine Adaptation Network aims to implement a strong interdisciplinary organisational framework to engage researchers, governments and industry in a way that will enhance adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability of Australia’s marine biodiversity and resources to climate change risks.
Given the recent predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicating that global warming will affect the planet over at least the next couple of centuries, it is clear that new paradigms, policies, and governance systems will be essential for Australia in order to sustain the capacity of its marine ecosystems and for securing future economic and societal development. Unfortunately, the degree of resilience and adaptive capacity of many marine species to climate change risks and potential impacts, for example corals and coral reefs, are still poorly known.
Adaptability is the ability to monitor, assess, respond, recover, and renew following known and unknown disturbances and other change (Resilience Alliance 2007).
Adaptation is adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (Parry et al. 2007, 869).
Adaptive capacity is the property of a system to adjust its characteristics or behaviour, in order to expand its coping range under existing climate variability, or future climate conditions.
Response capacity is the ability to manage both the causes and the consequences of climate change (that is, to mitigate greenhouse emissions and adapt to climate change and variability) (Tompkins & Adger 2005).