A session on “Ocean Acidification: Causes and Impacts on Biogeochemical Processes, Biota and Climate” will take place during the Ocean Sciences Meeting, 2-7 March 2008, Orlando, Florida.
Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 changes seawater chemistry and can have significant impacts on marine biogeochemical processes and organisms. Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 in oceans decreases the pH and the CaCO3 saturation state of seawater. The pH of surface oceans has dropped by 0.1 units since the industrial revolution and, if fossil fuel combustion continues at present rates, the pH of the world’s oceans will probably drop another 0.3 to 0.4 units by 2100. As the world’s oceans become more acidic, many calcifying marine organisms will be negatively impacted, which could lead to cascading effects throughout marine food webs. The goal of this session is to discuss recent advances in the field of ocean acidification. All spatial and temporal timescales will be included, from molecular to global and from paleo-environmental studies to models of future impacts. Topics of interests include, but are not limited to: (1) effects on nutrient and elemental cycles; (2) estimates of calcification and dissolution at the organism, community and global scales; (3) physiological effects on calcifying and non-calcifying organisms; and (4) feedback mechanisms and decadal to centennial projections of future ocean acidification impacts.