How Climate Change is impacting Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Our ocean is changing. When we burn fossil fuels for energy, we add carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This buildup acts like a heat-trapping blanket around the world, which disrupts the climate. This heat build-up is affecting the ocean, and the impacts of climate change are intensifying both globally and locally, threatening America’s physical, social, economic, and environmental well-being.

National marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments must contend with rising water temperatures and sea levels, water that is more acidic and contains less oxygen, shifting species, and altered weather patterns and storms. While all of our sanctuaries and national monuments must face these global effects of climate change, each is affected differently. Click here to read the 2020 Climate Impacts report (includes citations) highlighting the specific impacts Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is facing due to climate change. The document features changes to the upwelling system, ocean warming, changes in the food web, hypoxia (low oxygen) and ocean acidification. It also discusses how sanctuary managers are working to understand potential climate change impacts in order to maintain a more resilient ecosystem.

By identifying direct threats to the sanctuary ecosystem, we can take practical, common sense steps to address problems facing the sanctuary today to best protect it for future generations.