“It’s a hard read”: Abbott on IPCC’s oceans report

Our Fundy Baykeeper, Matt Abbott, spoke to reporters this week about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report on the ocean and cryosphere (or frozen parts of the Earth).

Abbott spoke with CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron about the report’s findings and projections, which he says represents a scientific call to action to protect coastal communities and critical inshore fisheries.

“The ecosystem is going to change and it’s going to look different. We just have to accept that. A lot of the species we’re used to seeing here are just going to find the water too warm,” Abbott said.

While noting the report’s stark projections are a hard read, Abbott noted “it would be a much harder read if I didn’t know a lot of people who are putting a lot of thought and energy and passion into this.”

Abbott also spoke with Robert Williams for an article published in the Moncton Times & Transcript on Tuesday, Oct. 1 and the Miramichi Leader on Oct. 4. An excerpt from that article follows:

Matthew Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper and director of marine conservation with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said we’re already starting to see a lot of the possible negative outcomes outlined in the report in New Brunswick waters. 

His desk in Saint Andrews was spread thin this week with the papers from the report, each marked with notes about connections to New Brunswick. 

“What jumped out to me is that there is a lot that is of relevance to us here,” he said. “A lot of what they are warning us about is stuff that we’re already experiencing.”

Both the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence have been two of the fastest warming water bodies in the world in recent years, he said.

In terms of species migration, nothing has dominated headlines more than the plight of the right whales through the last few years, with more and more washing up on New Brunswick shores. 

He also points to lobster populations, who could soon be in search of new habitats with cooler waters if water temperatures continue to rise.

“And of course, there are significant economic implications associated with that.”

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