there will be significant regional variations in the changes, and any impacts will be the result of the interaction between these climate change drivers and other drivers of change, leading to diverse effects and vulnerabilities (Sections 6.2 and 6.4).

Understanding of the relevant climate-change drivers for coastal areas has improved since the TAR. Projected global mean changes under the SRES scenarios are summarised in Table 6.3. As atmospheric CO2 levels increase, more CO2 is absorbed by surface waters, decreasing seawater pH and carbonate saturation (Andersson et al., 2003; Royal Society, 2005; Turley et al., 2006). A significant increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration appears virtually certain (Table 6.3). Sea surface temperatures are also virtually certain to rise significantly (Table 6.3), although less than the global mean temperature rise. The rise will not be spatially uniform, with possible intensification of ENSO and time variability which suggests greater change in extremes with important implications for coral reefs (Box 6.1).

Table 6.1. Selected global non-climatic environmental and socio-economic trends relevant to coastal areas for the SRES storylines. Regional and local deviations are expected.

Environmental and socio-economic factors

Non-climatic changes and trends for coastal and low-lying areas (by SRES Future)

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