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The Ocean Climate Challenge

Global Climate Action Summit

Opening Remarks

14 September 2018San Francisco

Jane LubchencoOregon State University

 

The ocean is an amazing place.  I find it endlessly fascinating, as do my grandkidsAnd, as a scientist, I know how vital it is to the well-being of everyone on Earth.  The ocean sustains and feeds us.  It connects us.  It is our past and our future.  And the ocean is full of secrets. Fortunately, science is unlocking some of those secrets.  I’m here to share some of what scientists are learning.  

Make no mistake, the impacts of climate change on the ocean are well underway – and getting worse.  The ocean is higher, warmer, stormier, sicker, more acidic, and with less oxygen.  Andthat means it’s also more disrupted and less predictable.  These changes are a big, big problem – both for many ocean critters and for people.  

BUT!  The ocean is also key to mitigating and adapting to climate change.  Marine Protected Areas (or MPAs) and fishery reforms are two prime examples.

Marine Protected Areas  

Highly protected MPAs are one of the strongest tools we have to enhance the resilience of ocean ecosystems.  If they are large, well designed, and enforced, highly protected areas can do evenmore than provide safe havens for wildlife.  They can also capture & store carbon, restore ecological balance, protect coastal areas from storm surge and coastal erosion, preserve the genetic diversity that is essential for adaptation, and help recover depleted fisheries.  Pretty impressive!

But, despite those fabulous benefits, we’ve

only protected 4% of the ocean.  Compare that to 15% of the land protected.  Moreover, only 2% of the ocean is highly protected. My conclusion?  We have a very powerful tool that is just waiting to be deployed!

Many countries are making pushes to achieve their commitments of protecting 10% of the ocean by 2020, which is a great start, but to really harness the full power of MPAs, we must highly protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.  It is encouraging that there are some exciting prospects under development, for example, Germany’s proposal to create a 1.8m km2 area (that is 5x the area of Germany!) in the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic

A key point here is that only highly protected areas provide the biodiversity and climate adaptation outcomes needed.  Minimally protected MPAs simply do not.   

Fishery reform

In parallel, reforming fisheries is essential if we want to provide food security and avoid theworst ravages of climate change. Because fisheries provide livelihoods to 10% of the global population and over 20% of the protein for over 3b people, this is an urgent and easilyoverwhelming challenge.

The good news is that recent research by Steve Gaines and his colleagues at UCSB, the Environmental Defense Fund, & elsewhere have found that improving fishery management could actually offset many of the negative effects of climate change.  This is because climate change is altering both productivity of the ocean and the location of many stocks.  Fisheries could be reformed to jointly fix current problems and make fisheries more resilient to climatechanges.  Making these reforms is not be easy, but given what is at stake, this should be one of the highest priorities.   

The seafood industry is beginning to step up.  Startled by the pending impacts of climate change, the 10 largest seafood companies in the world, in partnership with scientists led by the Stockholm Resilience Center, just announced SeaBOS – Seafood Businesses for Ocean Stewardship with the goal of making seafood production more sustainable. 

These two tools – highly protected MPAs and fishery/aquaculture reform is what ocean climate action looks like.  What does it take? Leadership, Science, Finance, and Courage.

Let me close with this thought.  Sea monsters have captured people’s imaginations since time immemorial.  We now know we’ve created our very own monster whose name is climate changeIt threatens our health, our economy, and our security.  

But this is not a fairy tale in which a lone heroine saves the day, but rather a real-life story in which citizens, businesses, scientists, and governments work in concert to tame the beast. 

Now is the time to conquer this monster, defang it, and harness its power.  To be sure, this is a very nasty monster, but adding powerful ocean climate action to efforts already underway is the secret ingredient we need.

Ocean. Climate. Action!      

Thanks!

OSU Today
Life at OSU

The Lives and Stories od Oregon State University

May 11, 2018

OSU marine ecologist receives prestigious National Science Board award

The National Science Board is honoring Oregon State University marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco with its 2018 Vannevar Bush Award.

The award recognizes “exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology and public policy.”

Past winners include OSU alumnus Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel laureate, and David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard.

Lubchenco, distinguished university professor at Oregon State and marine studies adviser to OSU President Ed Ray, is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists. She served as an undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Lubchenco also served on the Obama administration’s Science Team and later as the State Department’s first science envoy for the ocean. In January 2017, she received the National Academy of Sciences’ most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal.

“Dr. Lubchenco is an amazing scientist whose brilliance and vision have long made her a global leader, and we’re thrilled to see her receive this much-deserved honor,” said Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at Oregon State. “Her work has improved countless lives while also bridging the gap between scientists and the public.”

Lubchenco has co-founded three organizations that train scientists to better communicate with citizens and to more effectively engage with society: COMPASS, the Leopold Leadership Program, and Climate Central.

A MacArthur Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Lubchenco is the sixth woman to win the Vannevar Bush Award in the last 15 years. The first 18 winners of the award, and 24 of the first 25, were men.

“Jane Lubchenco is the quintessential champion of science and has made extraordinary research contributions to marine ecology and environmental science that are unparalleled, as is her service to Oregon State University and our students, our nation and of course our oceans,” said Roy Haggerty, dean of OSU’s College of Science. “She has strengthened the voice of science nationally and globally.”

The National Science Board presented Lubchenco with the award May 2 in Washington, D.C., during the National Science Foundation’s annual awards ceremony.

“I’m positively thrilled to receive the Vannevar Bush Award,” said Lubchenco. “It is humbling to be in the distinguished company of previous recipients, and also to have the chance to shine a spotlight on the increasingly important role that science plays in our lives. To me, science is all about hope – hope that we can work together to find solutions to our grand challenges.”

The NSB and the National Science Foundation director jointly head the NSF, an independent federal agency created by Congress to promote the progress of science and also to advance health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense.

The National Science Board sets policy for the National Science Foundation and provides a biennial report to Congress on U.S. progress in science and technology. Members are presidential appointees selected for six-year terms based on their excellence in research and education.

Established in 1980, the Vannevar Bush Award is named after President Roosevelt’s science adviser during World War II. After the war, Bush was instrumental in the creation of the National Science Foundation; he died in 1974 at age 84.

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AIP|American Institute of Physics
May 11, 2018

Scientists Need Stronger Public Engagement in ‘Post-Truth’ World, Says Former NOAA Administrator

In a series of public lectures, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco has urged the scientific community to focus on the growing importance of public engagement in a “post-truth” world, which she says will require a shift in culture at universities, research institutions, and government science agencies. 

PDF icon2018_aip_mahoney_lecture_jane_lubchenco_18april2018.pdf

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Carnegie Science Presentation
April 25, 2018

Hope for People and the Future
See Jane's full presenation here
https://carnegiescience.edu/oceanhope

Can we use the ocean without using it up? The task is daunting given current trajectories in fisheries, plastics, and other pollutants, and the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.  However, new scientific insights, tools, and partnerships are providing hope that it’s not too late to transition to more-sustainable practices and policies.  Dr. Lubchenco will draw on her four years as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), her two years as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, and her decades of research around the world to summarize the importance to people of sustainable use of the ocean, and approaches that are working.

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Saint Louis Climate Summit
April 24, 2018

Availability of Water and Sea Level Rise
Jane Lubchenco
http://www.ninenet.org/climate-summit-archive/availability-of-water-and-sea-level-rise/

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The Annual Dr. James R. Mahoney Memorial Lecture

Science in a Post-Truth World
Monday, 23 April 2018, 4:00 p.m.

American Association For The Advancement Of Science (AAAS) Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

http://www.cbsvideo.ametsoc.net/2018_Mahoney_JLonly_small.mov

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News Release
April 3, 2018

Jane Lubchenco, prominent marine ecologist and science leader, to receive 2018 Vannevar Bush Award

The National Science Board (NSB, Board) is pleased to announce that Jane Lubchenco, distinguished university professor and marine studies advisor to the president at Oregon State University, will receive its 2018 Vannevar Bush Award. 

The award honors truly exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology, and public policy. Lubchenco’s work includes ecology, zoology, marine biology, ocean management, and public policy. Over her career, she has made fundamental contributions to the science of ecology, stimulated the broad scientific community to engage more deeply with members of the public, and worked to find solutions for societal challenges.

https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=244959&org=NSB&from=news

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Oregon State University Press Release
By Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039, steve.lundeberg@oregonstate.edu
4/3/18

OSU marine ecologist receives prestigious National Science Board award

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The National Science Board is honoring Oregon State University marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco with its 2018 Vannevar Bush Award. 

The award recognizes “exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology and public policy.” 

Past winners include OSU alumnus Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel laureate, and David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard.

Lubchenco, distinguished university professor at Oregon State and marine studies adviser to OSU President Ed Ray, is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists. She served as an undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

PDF iconosu_vb_lubchenco_2018_press_release.pdfPDF icon<br>PDF iconosu_vb_lubchenco_2018_press_release.pdf

Natural Capital Symposium 2018
March 21, 2018
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Jane's Keynote Address video: "Hope From Science and Society"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIE1is3-OCE&list=PLSFk2iLV3UfNx4G0OEMuI0FlMfnzDda9M

RESEARCH  R E V IEW

Avoiding a crisis of motivation for ocean management under

global environmental change

Peter J. Mumby1 | James N. Sanchirico2 | Kenneth Broad3 | Michael W. Beck4 |
Peter Tyedmers5 | Megan Morikawa6 | Thomas A. Okey7 | Larry B. Crowder8 |
Elizabeth A. Fulton9 | Denny Kelso10 | Joanie A. Kleypas11 | Stephan B. Munch12 |
Polita Glynn13 | Kathryn Matthews14 | Jane Lubchenco15

 PDF icon2017_mumby_avoiding_a_cisis_of_motivation_gcb.pdf

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