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A first Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO) is under development.

What is a MEASO? - go to Approach, Structure and Format

Why MEASO & Benchmarking?  - published in the following analysis by ACE CRC on Southern Ocean ecosystems

Wish to participate in MEASO? - sign up by clicking here (contact MEASO).

This part of SOKI is being used to develop the first assessment by the Antarctic and Southern Ocean research community (see MEASO Science Network for the international community network as well as acronyms commonly used for the organisations involved).


MEASO is intended to complement and advance the work undertaken for the SCAR Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean ( and the SCAR Antarctic Climate Change and Environment Report (

MEASO aims to facilitate contributions from the Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine science community to the 6th Assessment Review (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), and other recent initiatives to assess status and trends in global ecosystems. MEASO is not intended to supplant the specific scientific requirements for year to year management but to complement that work with long-term assessments. It is intended to provide a forward-looking assessment of what trends in Southern Ocean ecosystems are happening now and into the future, and what may need to be planned for, in terms of research and management.

The aim is to have a quantitative assessment that enables managers to achieve consensus in adapting their management strategies to ecosystem change to continue to achieve their objectives for ecosystems.

This work was discussed broadly by the scientific community at MEASO 2018, an international conference held in Hobart in early April 2018, which also included a day-long policy forum. Background to the conference, including the program and abstracts, can be found on the conference web site.  The conference was supported by IMBeR ICED and CLIOTOP, SOOS, SCAR, and the Australian Antarctic Program to share relevant science, enhance community input into the design and planning of the MEASO, and to develop a work plan.

The first MEASO is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2019, for use in the IPCC AR6 as well as consideration by CCAMLR in 2019. Then work will commence toward subsequent MEASO iterations on a cycle that aligns with IPCC reporting (an updated MEASO, say, every 6 years).

General Bibliography

Turner, J., R. Bindschadler, P. Convey, G. di Prisco, E. Fahrbach, J. Gutt, D. Hodgson, P. Mayewski and C. Summerhayes, Eds. (2009). Antarctic climate change and the environment: A contribution to the International Polar Year 2007-2008. Cambridge. , Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

De Broyer, C., P. Koubbi, H. Griffiths, B. Raymond, C. d'Udekem d'Acoz, A. Van de Putte, B. Danis, B. David, S. Grant, J. Gutt, C. Held, G. Hosie, F. Huettmann, A. Post and Y. Ropert-Coudert (2014). Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean. Cambridge UK, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

Nymand Larson, J., O. Anisimov, A. J. Constable, A. Hollowed, N. Maynard, P. Prestrud, T. Prowse and J. Stone (2014). Chapter 28: Polar Regions. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.  Report of Working Group II. C. B. Field and R. B. Barros. San Francisco, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2: 71 pp.

Constable, A. J., J. Melbourne-Thomas, S. P. Corney, K. R. Arrigo, C. Barbraud, D. K. A. Barnes, N. L. Bindoff, P. W. Boyd, A. Brandt, D. P. Costa, A. T. Davidson, H. W. Ducklow, L. Emmerson, M. Fukuchi, J. Gutt, M. A. Hindell, E. E. Hofmann, G. W. Hosie, T. Iida, S. Jacob, N. M. Johnston, S. Kawaguchi, N. Kokubun, P. Koubbi, M.-A. Lea, A. Makhado, R. A. Massom, K. Meiners, M. P. Meredith, E. J. Murphy, S. Nicol, K. Reid, K. Richerson, M. J. Riddle, S. R. Rintoul, W. O. Smith, C. Southwell, J. S. Stark, M. Sumner, K. M. Swadling, K. T. Takahashi, P. N. Trathan, D. C. Welsford, H. Weimerskirch, K. J. Westwood, B. C. Wienecke, D. Wolf-Gladrow, S. W. Wright, J. C. Xavier and P. Ziegler (2014). "Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota." Global Change Biology 20(10): 3004-3025.

Gutt, J., N. Bertler, T. J. Bracegirdle, A. Buschmann, J. Comiso, G. Hosie, E. Isla, I. R. Schloss, C. R. Smith, J. Tournadre and J. C. Xavier (2015). "The Southern Ocean ecosystem under multiple climate change stresses - an integrated circumpolar assessment." Global Change Biology 21(4): 1434-1453.

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